1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Very good company culture. Recommended for experience in FinTech. Less techy than fully tech-oriented companies, but nevertheless provides opportunities to learn new technologies and pick up relevant skills. I greatly enjoyed working with my colleagues, both interns and experienced engineers, and the internship had a very relaxing work-life balance leaving plenty of time to spend on personal hobbies.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
All colleagues were incredibly helpful, friendly and respectful towards the interns. I could always ask for support in any problem and no one would reject me. It is definitely something you don't find often in big companies!
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
The internship management was fantastic - plenty of interesting events, networking, entertainment, ice-breaking activities and fun. All interns were provided with support from internship managers (recruitment team). In terms of the project assigned to me, I did not interact with my direct manager very often but there were plenty of people to ask for help or guidance if I needed it.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
It would depend on the project. In my case, I did not work as hard as I usually do at university, so one might want to pick up a side project or a learning course alongside work - AMEX provides opportunities to take up various additional activities. Nevertheless, I would appreciate more workload.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
My team (consisting of interns only) was given almost full freedom on the implementation of the given task, but I sometimes felt that the project we created will be reworked later. This might or might not be true since the project is in a very early stage, and for many interns it was not the case - their contribution was significant to the company.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I did not learn many new technologies (most of my coding experience was based on the knowledge I gained in university) but the soft skills one receives from an internship in a big company are a huge help, especially considering that AMEX is very people-oriented and promotes networking. I certainly feel that I improved my communication and networking skills.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere was quite friendly.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The project I was given would be more suited for a student aiming for a placement year, which made the experience a bit rushed and not as extensive as it might have been. However, the internship management team made sure that every intern was satisfied with their placement and tightly packed the 10 week time with various events.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The company provides many opportunities for learning new skills and promotes new experience, both in professional and personal areas. Additionally, the company does not push employees towards a certain area of expertise to study, but leaves space for personal choice. The employees are provided with access to a great learning platform featuring many technology courses.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
People who want to apply their skills in financial business will find many opportunities for professional development and career.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
I greatly enjoyed spending time with my fellow interns, both during everyday work and during social events. AMEX provided many opportunities to network with other interns, and we often came together just on our own initiative for a beach party or a pub crawl. Would be happy to meet my intern friends again!
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I lived in Brighton and AMEX office I worked in was based in Burgess Hill. Brighton is a quite an expensive city to live in, perhaps as expensive as London because it is a popular touristic destination. Travel costs (bus + train season pass) are quite high, so for an internship it might be better to live in Burgess Hill.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
I am not very interested in Nightlife.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There were plenty of opportunities to get involved in; some interns did volunteering, others spent their time with their friends at extra activities such as bouldering, swing dancing, etc. The work does not take so much time to be exhausted after a working day, so there is enough time to spend on the things you enjoy.